I was blessed to finally return to Guatemala after my 21 month absence due to covid. My worry has been about Guatemala’s lack of healthcare and their lack of vaccines. Our team was so lucky to arrive in the village of Durazno in the Department of Jalapa this October. There had been a Faith in Practice team there in March 2020 when covid shut the country down. The team had promised that Faith in Practice would come back to finish their clinic and we were that team. The people were thrilled!! A lot of the patients we saw last week were people who were to be seen in March 2020. They had waited 17 months.
We could only see about 150 patients daily instead of our normal 500 due to covid protocols.
More screening, more spacing, more cleaning!
Our clinic was in a church since the schools where we usually do our clinics have been totally closed since March 2020. It was a nice setting as we were in one large room, the sanctuary, with drapes to separate each specialty. I ran the lab which was directly across from the dermatology clinic. If Dr Kim needed help she could just call for me. Our team was only 15 instead of the normal 33-35 so we needed to be flexible and help each other a lot. We also had a wheelchair clinic and in addition to individuals receiving wheelchairs a group of local firemen received extra large wheelchairs for transporting patients.
What always touches me is the patience and faith of the Guatemalan people. They had no health care and no vaccines for over a year. I am so impressed by their sense of community and their care for each other. I will go to Guatemala with Faith in Practice as long as I am able. I miss the people as soon as I leave and hope to return on another mission trip in Jan 2022.
Peace, Charlene Schumann, RN